If you haven’t worn foundation since 2020, let us help you find today’s best pick.
From drugstore to designer brands, there are formulas in multiple finishes, formats, and packaging.
After testing 39 of the top-rated foundations, I’ve rounded up my favorite 17 below.
With hundreds of options and ever-evolving shade names, finding the right foundation for your skin tone and skin type is like finding a needle in a haystack. Sometimes you find the perfect formula, but it doesn’t match your skin tone. Other times, it seems like a perfect match tone-wise, but the formula dries out your skin or makes you break out.
I’m very aware of the struggle to find the perfect shade, so I put my face through the ringer for this guide and tested – as well as researched – 39 foundations. Through trial and error, I landed on the best 17 you can buy today. In addition to formula quality, I also considered shade inclusivity, return policy, online shade match tool availability, and SPF level.
If you’re in process of finding the perfect shade of your own, first consider coverage and buildability, as well as any skincare concerns you have. If you’ve got oily skin, you might want to try something with a matte or powder finish. If your skin is dry, look into hydrating liquid formulas and avoid the mattes. Prices range from under $10 to over $60, so think about your budget as well.
This is the perfect foundation option for someone who’s just getting into makeup or wants something that feels like it’s barely there. I loved how naturally dewy it made my skin look while feeling hydrating, perfecting my tone, and not coming off (despite being so lightweight). Some customers over 55 years old loved it too, noting that it’s one of the few that works on their skin and all its wrinkles.
Perfecting Skin Tint (small)
Skin by Mented
Mented was created by Black women to be a makeup haven for women of color. They offer 16 stick foundation shades in luxurious casing. The formula leaves your face with a flawless glow. Skin by Mented is lightweight, but it’s also easily buildable to suit coverage needs.
Skin by Mented (small)
NYX Total Control Pro Drop Foundation
This foundation really flexes a buildability muscle. In fact, the product is part of a bigger line of NYX Pro Drops, which include hue shifters and illuminators to help fine tune your foundation.This lightweight formula gave me a natural finish and hid some blemishes quite well. If you’re in the market for something between $10 and $20, this is your pick.
Total Control Pro Drop Foundation (small)
Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation
While this list is abundant with oil-free foundations, Kosas Tinted Face Oil is deliberately oil-based. This clean beauty foundation is made with moisturizing avocado oil, raspberry oil for reparative antioxidant benefits, and rosehip seed oil for brightening. Kosas’s super-liquidy face oil gives a glowy, sheer to light coverage. It’s best as a lightweight foundation but is also designed to be buildable to medium coverage. If you have dry skin or patches, be warned: Some customers find the foundation clings and unflatteringly highlights their dry patch.
Tinted Face Oil (small, Preferred: Kosas)
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation
Made to apply with your hands like a serum, the ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint offers a lot of benefits in one bottle. Although it may be intimidating at first — before drying it’s thick, sticky, and shiny and made me look like a glazed donut — the foundation has a dewy finish and stays away from caking and clinging to dry patches. This is one of the few on the list with sun protection, clocking in at a satisfying SPF 40. The clean beauty brand also infuses this formula with niacinamide, squalane, and hyaluronic acid which help hydrate and plump your skin.
This SPF 30 tinted hydrating gel cream from BareMinerals has a whipped cream texture and leaves a flawless, dewy finish. On top of that, the formula is made with hyaluronic acid, which attracts moisture to your skin.Though blending with your finger is recommended, I found that using a brush made it a lot easier. This product has established itself as a classic, but there’s still a dire need for more shades when it comes to deep skin tones.
Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream (small, Preferred: Sephora)
The best medium-coverage foundations
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation
Some customers say this is a game-changing foundation they have been using for years. Too Faced’s formula is oil-free and includes coconut water, alpine rose, and hyaluronic acid which helps retain moisture. For me, it even felt moisturizing when I put it on. Whether you’re concerned about dry or oily skin, this is a great option to keep your skin glowing.
Born This Way Foundation (small)
Chanel Ultra La Teint Foundation
Chanel offers 12 different foundations, and of the customer favorites, Ultra Le Teint Ultrawear All-Day Comfort Flawless Finish Foundation is a standout. Packaged in a luxurious frosted glass bottle, the foundation is formulated to perfect your skin and last all day. Its skin-perfecting, soft matte finish makes the Chanel Ultra Le Teint foundation ideal for long days, long nights, special occasions, and taking lots of photos.
Ultra La Teint Foundation (small)
FENTY BEAUTY by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
Rihanna changed the game when she launched Fenty Beauty, which has established itself as an inclusive brand with high-quality, sustainable formulas. The Pro Filt’r Foundation is an easy-to-blend, long-lasting foundation that gives full coverage and a soft matte finish. Because mattifying products can be drying, the brand recommends moisturizing before applying the foundation, especially if you have dry skin. Or, you can check out the hydrating foundation or lightweight skin tint.
Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (small)
MILK Makeup Flex Foundation Stick
MILK’s stick foundation is not only easily-blendable with a natural finish and medium coverage. It also benefits your skin via moisturizing blue lotus, soothing chamomile, and marshmallow root extract, which contributes to elasticity. The proof in the pudding is, at least in my experience, this formula didn’t get creasey or cakey. Sounds like the marshmallow root extract gets to work. If you love MILK but want something matte, check out the Blur Liquid Foundation.
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15
Bobbi Brown’s foundation left me with a flawless, natural finish. The foundation is oil-free and water-based with a water-like consistency, which makes it quite easy to blend and a great base for additional products. Bobbi Brown’s foundation seems perfect for longer wear. It has glycerin for hydration, a minimal level of SPF for some sun protection, and it’s lightweight for a long lasting natural look.
Skin Foundation SPF 15 (small)
The best full-coverage foundations
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation
The Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation hid my acne, blackheads, and blemishes while giving me a truly airbrushed look. I’m a fan of this formula’s smooth application and matte finish, although I noticed a tiny bit of caking. Still, this product is a strong, long-lasting foundation to a full face of makeup.
Airbrush Flawless Foundation (small)
Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Luminous Matte Foundation
The #FauxFilter Luminous Matte Foundation from Huda Beauty was already a favorite of many, but now it’s fragrance-free. I personally appreciated how the matte, full coverage finish gave my skin a flawless but natural glow. Plus, it felt particularly easy to apply and blend into my skin.
#FauxFilter Luminous Matte Foundation (small)
Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation
This semi-thick formula by Laura Mercier glides on, blends with a bit of effort, and leaves a matte finish. While the shade range could be a lot more inclusive of darker tones, current customers appreciate that the Flawless Fusion foundation is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic. I appreciated how this product held up on my face for a full day of wear. If you’re looking for something a bit less heavy, Laura Mercier offers a beauty-awarded, more lightweight foundation too.
Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation (small)
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick
The Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick is currently one of the best stick foundation options. The stick is sheathed in a triangular stick, which makes it easier to hold and dot onto your face. It buffs into your skin for full coverage, a satin finish, and minimization of your pores and smile lines. Plus, with this foundation’s concentrated formula, a little goes a long way.
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You don’t need to be an online shopping veteran to know that it’s a tricky affair – the whole process occurs without you ever seeing or trying the product. To make buying a little easier, many retailers offer helpful policies, like free online returns. Especially with holidays like Labor Day Weekend around the corner, it’s good to know which stores you can easily make returns to.
We’ve rounded up a list of retailers offering free online returns, below.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
Get free online returns on orders at these companies:
Style & clothing
ALDO: Aldo will refund unworn, unwashed, not final sale items returned within 60 days of your purchase.
Allbirds: The buzzy shoe brand allows returns for 30 days with no questions asked, even if you’ve already worn the shoes around. You can return or exchange any shoes for free that aren’t to your liking.
Bonobos: Bonobos includes a pre-paid return label with every order for hassle-free returns. If you make your return within 45 days of your purchase, you qualify for a refund using your original payment method. If you return within 90 days of your purchase date, you qualify for store credit instead.
Bloomingdale’s: You can return an order for free for up to 90 days with a receipt. If you do not have a receipt, you have up to 180 days to receive a merchandise credit of the lowest price for the item.
Everlane: All purchases from the popular clothing brand Everlane can be returned for free for up to 30 days after your ship date. That even includes Choose What You Pay purchases. Plus, you can also return anything you bought at a brick-and-mortar store via mail.
Macy’s: Macy’s offers free and easy returns on most items by mail. Just print a pre-addressed shipping label and send your items back. They’ve also extended their return window from 30 to 90 days.
Neiman Marcus: Almost all merchandise can be returned to Neiman Marcus free of charge if received within 15 days of the delivery date. However, you may want to double-check their return policy as a few items aren’t eligible for free returns, including anything bought on clearance.
Nordstrom: The department store offers free returns in the US via a postage-paid return label. Your return is generally processed within 10-14 days. Plus, if you don’t have a printer, bring the digital return code to select USPS stores for free printing.
Patagonia: Outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia offers free returns on all items, though they’re currently delayed due to staffing and safety requirements. Even better, they also usually offer free repairs on all Patagonia items, though this program has temporarily been suspended due to the novel coronavirus. They do, however, have free DIY repair guides online.
REI: If you’re not satisfied with any purchase from REI, you can return it for up to a full year for free. Return shipping labels come with all invoices. The only exception is outdoor electronics, which can be returned for free within 90 days.
Shopbop: Shopbop is known for designer women’s fashion apparel, which means items often come with a high price tag. Items returned within 15 days after receipt are refunded with no extra cost – though they’ll accept returns up to 30 days after with a $10 fee tacked on.
Sunglass Hut: The Sunglass Hat carries brands from Ray-Ban to Gucci. Shop with confidence knowing you can return items for free for up to 30 days with a printed shipping label.
Urban Outfitters: Returning items to Urban Outfitters is easy. Just start a return online and print a free pre-paid shipping label. Returns made within 30 days of your delivery date qualify for a refund using your payment method; if it takes place after, you may qualify for store credit instead.
Zappos: Zappos has long been heralded as a gold standard for customers when it comes to returns. Return shipping is always free and you have 365 days to do so for all purchases – no exceptions.
Zara: Don’t love an outfit you bought from Zara? The clothing retailer offers a 30-day window to return clothing with free shipping.
Bed Bath & Beyond: Bed Bath & Beyond offers free return shipping on most items. You have a 90-day window after purchase to exchange or return.
Chewy: Pet owners will be pleased to learn that returns to Chewy are easy. If you’re not completely satisfied with your items, you can return them free of charge within one year. Just send a message with your order number to receive a shipping label.
Home Depot: While there are a few exceptions for bigger items, many orders are eligible for free online returns. Once you start a return you’ll receive a free UPS shipping label via email to print and attach to your package.
Target: Shoppers at Target have 90 days to return or exchange items for free. RedCard holders get 120 days.
Walmart: Walmart makes it simple to return items for free. Just log into your account, initiate a return or replacement, and print a free return label. Refunds or replacement items are issued as soon as the store receives the item. You have 90 days after purchase to make a return in most cases.
Williams Sonoma: Foodies and home chefs will like that Williams Sonoma allows for free returns by mail within 30 days for any items under 70 pounds. You can use the form attached to your invoice or quickly print a label online.
Best Buy: Most items are eligible for refunds if you return them within 15 days of receipt. It’s important to note, however, that some items (like cell phones and DSLR cameras) will incur a restocking fee.
Dell: It can be nerve-wracking to buy pricey electronics sight unseen, but you can shop easy at Dell. Ship any items back for free within 30 days of your invoice date for a full refund.
Whitening toothpaste helps remove surface stains from teeth.
We spoke to 4 dentists on what to look for in a whitening toothpaste that won’t hurt your teeth or gums.
Our top choice, Colgate Total SF, is effective, ADA-approved, and budget-friendly.
Whether you’re a coffee addict, ex-smoker, or just want to polish your smile a little brighter, virtually everyone wants whiter teeth. There are all kinds of intensive options available, from whitening strips to in-office dental treatments. But for most of us, the easiest way is to switch up our toothpaste and ask it to do more than just fight plaque and cavities.
Whitening toothpaste generally works by using enamel-safe abrasives to physically remove surface stains. Many also contain other active ingredients, like peroxide, to dissolve stains and bleach teeth. Some even contain a chemical called blue covarine, which makes teeth appear whiter instantly by canceling out yellow tones – sort of an optical illusion.
But since not every ingredient is equal and some teeth whitening products notoriously cause tooth sensitivity, we spoke to four board-certified dentists to learn which whitening toothpaste really works. They shared the top brands they recommend to patients, as well as some tips for what to look for when shopping. We also personally tested several toothpastes to get a feel for texture, taste, and anything else a consumer might want to know.
In researching this piece, I consulted four dental professionals (see expert sources, below) as well as several published, peer-reviewed articles testing the efficacy and safety of various whitening toothpaste and active ingredients.
I also personally tried several kinds of toothpaste to take note of:
Taste: Toothpaste is toothpaste, not candy, so we don’t want to oversell the flavor of any of the products as “delicious” — but some pastes have strange, chemical, or overly-powerful flavors and aftertastes. Most of the pastes I tried had a simple, fresh taste that contributes to the overall clean feeling you want after brushing, but a few tasted mildly metallic or just plain unusual due to non-traditional flavoring ingredients.
Texture: Generally, toothpaste is either a gel or a paste and is pretty thick. I paid mind to see if any felt chalky, runny, or gritty, as well as how well they lather and spread around the mouth. Items that didn’t make the cut usually felt weird in one of these ways.
Packaging/ease of use: It’s not terribly common, but some toothpaste tubes are somewhat difficult to use because of poorly designed packaging. For example, one of the kinds of toothpaste I don’t recommend, the Plus Ultra, is in a metal tube similar to what artists’ paint comes in and was kind of a pain to squeeze. Conversely, all our picks have easy-to-open or -close caps.
The best whitening toothpaste overall
Colgate Total SF Whitening Gel is a top pick among our dentists as it’s a budget-friendly and effective way to whiten and protect the overall health of your teeth.
Pros: Inexpensive, American Dental Association (ADA) approved, provides sensitivity relief
Cons: Taste is questionable to some
Two of our expert sources, Ben El Chami, DMD, a NYC-based dentist and co-founder/chief dental officer of dntlbar and Chris Salierno, DDS, dental practitioner and chief dental officer of Tend, independently named Colgate Total Whitening as a top option they’d recommend to patients looking for a daily whitening boost. It also bears the ADA seal of acceptance, meaning the professional organization support that its efficacy and safety claims are sufficiently backed up by clinical research.
It’s a clear winner in the eyes of the pros because, in addition to whitening power, it has antibacterial properties that help defend against gum disease and tooth decay. These effects come from the active ingredient, stannous fluoride, which also helps offset the increased sensitivity some people experience when using whitening toothpastes.
The minty taste is subtle and not-too-strong without any unpleasant aftertaste. And compared to other toothpaste packaging, we love that Colgate Total has a flat flip-cap for easier access and the option to stand the tube up straight on your sink.
Pros: ADA-approved, no artificial flavorings or colorings, brand prioritizes sustainability and ethics
Cons: Some users dislike the taste, some complain that it’s less effective than traditional toothpastes in keeping breath fresh, price
Tom’s of Maine Simply White is one of very few toothpaste brands in the “natural” sector to earn ADA approval with proven whitening effects. If you prefer to steer clear of traditional toothpastes because of their ingredients, production process, or simply personal preference, Tom’s Simply White is the best bet for whiter teeth, vouched for by dentists and customers.
Like most whitening toothpastes, Tom’s Simply White uses abrasives — in this case naturally-derived silicas — to scrub off surface stains. It’s flavored with peppermint oil which delivers a mild, not overpowering fresh flavor. The tube is recyclable, which we love, and it has a smaller cap and opening which, in our experience, makes for less of a mess but also means you can’t store it upright on your bathroom counter.
Tom’s also contains fluoride. There are oft-debated but largely unproven or debunked arguments against the naturally-occurring mineral, but it’s an ingredient the ADA and every dentist we spoke with strongly encourage people to look for in their toothpaste thanks to decades-long body of evidence that make it the gold standard in cavity prevention.
Cons: Some users dislike taste and texture, not enough relief for extremely sensitive users, whitening effects are subtle
There aren’t too many whitening toothpastes on the market that specifically cater to those with sensitive teeth. Crest Pro Health Gum and Sensitivity Gentle Whitening, however, does and it’s the only ADA-approved toothpaste that offers both sensitivity relief and whitening effects. The stain removal is provided by hydrated silica, which acts as a gentle abrasive. This isn’t as extreme as some other products, both in terms of removing stains and causing sensitivity, so it’s a real trade off. But it’s the best-researched option out there for sensitivity sufferers looking for stain removal action.
The minty-sweet taste is mild but pleasant, and users say that, compared to other leading brands of sensitive toothpaste, it both tastes better and relieves sensitivity better. Like the Colgate Total SF Whitening Gel, we like that this tube has a flat flip cap for easy closure and the ability to stand vertical on a countertop to save space.
Colgate Optic White Advanced, like the other products on our list, contains gentle abrasives to scrub stains and polish teeth. But it also uses hydrogen peroxide for its natural lightening properties, giving you a one-two punch of whitening techniques – sort of like washing your white laundry with not just a strong detergent, but bleach too.
It’s the only bleaching toothpaste (not merely stain-removing) that the ADA has granted approval to, and like all ADA-approved pastes, it includes fluoride for cavity prevention. Despite its powerful whitening ability, Optic White is safe for enamel and many people report less sensitivity and irritation than with other whitening toothpastes.
The toothpaste works by creating a sort of film on the surface of your teeth so that the hydrogen peroxide can continue to work for more than just the two minutes you spend brushing. As a result, some people don’t like the feeling it leaves after you brush.
The best eco-friendly whitening toothpaste
If you’re looking for a whitening toothpaste that doesn’t just feature a clean ingredient list but also ditches the plastic tube, Bite’s toothpaste bits are what you seek.
Pros: Comes in a reusable glass jar, comes in a four-month supply each time you order, is often on sale, features a clean ingredients list, and also helps with teeth sensitivity (in addition to whitening)
Cons: Takes some getting used to compared to traditional toothpaste, doesn’t always adequately foam, doesn’t always produce the same kind of clean mouth feel (even though my mouth was still clean)
The terms “eco-friendly” and “sustainable” are often found in the world of toothpaste via a specific product’s ingredient list. But in the case of the brand, Bite, these terms also refer to the company’s packaging of its toothpaste which consists of a reusable glass jar as opposed to a plastic tube.
When I first tested these out, I was a little skeptical not of the glass jar (that is an objectively great way to store toothpaste) but of the actual toothpaste bits themselves. Like little pellets, the bits are a far cry from the traditional paste most people are used to and actually require you to bite down on them to crush the bit before brushing.
Not only is this an odd vehicle for toothpaste but it takes quite a while to get used to. The biggest hurdle for me was getting over just how much less foam the bits create in my mouth, which would sometimes leave me feeling as though my mouth wasn’t as clean as it could be after brushing.
But that small amount of foam is intentional. Bite’s toothpaste bits use sodium cocoyl glutamate which, when mixed with water doused on your toothbrush, produces a small amount of foam that helps clean between your teeth. You won’t see much forming on the outside of your mouth (which is a positive, I guess) but again, it does take a few times to get used to it.
I also liked that the toothpaste features a list of clean ingredients, like erythritol and xylitol, which further add to its badge of sustainability. The bits come in either a mint, charcoal, or berry flavor, though I’d recommend the mint as it gets the closest to that fresh, post-brush feeling (plus, charcoal toothpaste has its drawbacks).
Bite’s toothpaste bits are typically sold for $48 for a four-month supply which certainly isn’t cheap, though I’ve often seen it on sale for at least $10 off (if not more). There’s also a trial size available for $12 that comes with 62 bits (roughly one month) which is a good entry point for anyone on the fence.
What to look for in whitening toothpaste
There are two major categories of whitening ingredients in toothpaste: abrasives and bleaching agents. Most whitening toothpastes rely on gentle, enamel-safe abrasives that work to scrub off stains caused by eating and drinking. Technically, they’re not changing the color of your teeth, just cleaning off any gunk that might make them appear more yellow. This is going to be the vast majority of whitening toothpastes available and is why most people need to use at-home whitening kits to see a truly brighter smile.
Bleaching agents (like peroxide), on the other hand, can actually lift the color in the outermost layers of your enamel. However, they’re less common in toothpastes because they usually need more than two minutes of contact to really work (hence, why whitening strips work – they hold the bleaching agent on your teeth for several minutes). Additionally, bleaching agents can be irritating and cause sensitivity for some. The only bleaching toothpaste that made our top picks, Colgate Optic White, actually creates a film that sits on your teeth, keeping them in contact with the hydrogen peroxide for longer than the few minutes you spend brushing.
According to Drs. El Chami, Hain, and Springs, the number one thing to look for when shopping for new products is the ADA seal of acceptance. Brands can choose to submit their products to the American Dental Association, a non-profit advocating for safe dental practices, for review to obtain its seal which signals that the dental community agrees there is enough research to substantiate that a product is safe and effective. This is especially important when it comes to whitening toothpastes, as they tend to use abrasives like silica (the same stuff that makes up most of sand) to scrub off stains. The ADA review ensures those abrasives aren’t doing more harm to your enamel than good.
The other thing you need to look for is fluoride, a mineral that strengthens enamel and helps prevent cavities. The naturally occurring mineral has been demonized by phony science, but the ADA, all our experts, and a whole body of research deem it not only safe in your toothpaste, but also necessary for preventing cavities. Learn more in our FAQs.
The only ingredients dentists recommend you avoid are sugars, which improve the flavor of toothpaste but can cause adverse effects including tooth decay. Fortunately, the majority of toothpastes utilize tooth-safe sugar alternatives like xylitol or stevia.
What else we considered
Relatively few products on the market bear the ADA approval seal, which our sources overwhelmingly told us was the best way to know a product’s claims have been substantiated by research and thus the ones we can recommend to you most confidently.
That said, a product without the seal isn’t necessarily ineffectual or bad — it just likely didn’t undergo the organization’s optional review process (which does cost money, so is difficult for smaller companies to obtain). Here are some other, non-ADA-approved products that came up in our research:
What else we recommend:
BURST Fluoride ($10): This brand’s fluoridated toothpaste also boasts a lack of sodium lauryl sulfate, along with parabens and artificial flavors and colors, but it tastes and feels perfectly normal.
Smile Direct Club Premium Fluoride Whitening ($5): The brand you probably know from their subway ads also sells a whitening toothpaste, and it happens to be relatively inexpensive compared to other new-wave brands. It also tastes really good, in this writer’s opinion.
PLUS ULTRA Mint Toothpaste ($10): This toothpaste takes “natural” to another level, starting with its unique leafy green appearance. It doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate, and its plant-derived ingredients are organic — but it also lacks fluoride, so we can’t recommend it.
Huppy Peppermint Toothpaste Tablets ($12): Frequent travelers may appreciate that this paste comes in the form of tablets, complete with a little storage tin. Fluoride is left out, instead including a substance called nano-hydroxyapatite. But these tablets also contain charcoal, the safety of which is still hotly contested among dentists.
Luster Premium White Pearl Paste ($7): This paste doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate or parabens, but it does contain fluoride (important) and one other notable ingredient: pearl extracts, which purportedly work as abrasives to buff off surface stains. There’s no published clinical research on pearl as a tooth whitening agent, but telling people you brush your teeth with pearls will make you sound very fancy.
Does whitening toothpaste actually work?
Yes — just maybe not as well as you might hope. Dr. Salierno explained to Insider that over-the-counter whitening toothpaste is best at removing surface stains, but for a more dramatic whitening effect, professional methods are your best bet.
“The true whitening effect that patients are typically after is the result of the removal of intrinsic stain, or stain that is more deeply embedded in the tooth surface,” Salierno said. “In order to get a great whitening result, patients would do well to have a professional cleaning first, and then use a prescription-strength whitening agent as directed by their dental team.”
Bottom line: Whitening toothpaste is safe and can be effective at removing surface stains — just don’t expect a dramatic transformation from over-the-counter toothpaste alone.
Is charcoal toothpaste safe to whiten teeth?
Glad you asked. Charcoal is a trendy ingredient right now, making its way into food, cosmetics, and yes, toothpaste. The idea is that charcoal is able to absorb impurities and thus whiten teeth, but the clinical evidence isn’t great: Reviews of laboratory studies suggest that charcoal isn’t particularly effective as a whitening agent, despite its mildly abrasive properties. What’s more, it has the potential to damage your enamel, discolor it permanently, and damage your gums, according to a 2019 study in the British Dental Journal.
More recent research supports the safety of charcoal toothpaste but dentists and researchers caution consumers that the charcoal actually runs the risk of scratching enamel or getting stuck in the gums and other crevices. Those with fillings should especially steer clear.
Is whitening toothpaste safe for my teeth?
For the most part, yes. While many whitening toothpastes use abrasive agents to scrub away stains, dentists and researchers generally find them safe and non-damaging to the enamel of your teeth. There are a few exceptions — see about charcoal, above — but for most people, whitening toothpastes don’t pose a threat to dental health. Dr. El Chami does caution, however, that those with sensitive teeth may want to avoid whitening toothpastes in favor of something gentler.
Paul Springs, DMD, a prosthodontist who practices in Queens, New York, elaborated, adding, “Some brands contain grit particles that are too large, which irreversibly wears down tooth enamel. This is often an issue with charcoal or baking soda toothpastes made by unrecognizable brands, so I strongly recommend patients only use toothpastes with the ADA seal of approval to avoid that issue.”
Just because a product doesn’t bear the ADA seal doesn’t mean it’s unsafe, but lesser-known brands may use questionable ingredients (or even questionable forms of ingredients that are generally considered tooth-safe) that are too gritty and can wear down your enamel. The ADA seal is your confirmation that everything in the tube is safe for at-home use.
What’s the big deal about the ADA Seal of Acceptance?
As we mentioned earlier, the ADA seal program is an optional review process in which companies may choose to submit a product to the professional organization for independent review to determine if there is sufficient research backing up the safety and efficacy of the product.
Because the review process is optional and potentially cost-prohibitive to smaller companies, there are many toothpastes and other dental products on the market that don’t bear the ADA seal. This doesn’t necessarily mean the products aren’t up to snuff — but the dentists we consulted with highly recommend sticking to ADA-approved products to ensure you’re getting a product that actually works and is safe.
As Dr. Springs put it, “Not having the seal isn’t enough to condemn a product, but there is enough that [damage enamel] that I wouldn’t risk chancing it.”
Is fluoride really safe?
Fluoride has been demonized by oversimplified health information and conspiracy theories for decades for supposedly causing dental staining and even cancer. While this is technically true of the chemical, it would need to be ingested in very large quantities to have these severe negative effects, far more than fluoridated water and toothpaste are likely to provide.
The dental community is at a consensus that not only is fluoridated toothpaste safe, but it’s also strongly recommended for the purpose of preventing cavities and strengthening enamel throughout your life. In fact, the ADA will not grant its seal of acceptance to any toothpaste which does not include fluoride. This goes for standard as well as whitening toothpastes — ideally, fluoride is going to be included in any toothpaste you use daily.
Dr. Ben El Chami, DMD, is a dentist and the co-founder and chief dental officer of dntlbar, a family of Manhattan dental practices.
Dr. Chris Salierno, DDS, is a dentist and the chief dental officer of Tend, a family of dental practices with locations in New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
Dr. Courtney Hain, DDS, is a dentist who owns and operates her own practice, Smile San Francisco.
When looking for unique gift ideas with that extra personal feel, Amazon may not be the first place that pops into your head to look. But it turns out you can find great options if you’re willing to dig. Amazon handmade offers artisan products from small businesses around the country and Amazon has even curated gift lists and ideas catered to different hobbies, styles, and more. You can also shop Amazon’s portal to specifically support Black-owned businesses.
We’ve done the tough work for you and scoured Amazon to find truly singular and cool gift ideas.
Here are 47 cool and unique gifts ideas, all available on Amazon.
An ideal gift for those with a nurturing spirit, the Planter’s Choice Bonsai Starter Kit is a great introduction to gardening and is a calming addition to their desk, nightstand, or entryway table. The kit comes with a learning guide, seeds stored in vials for germination, four biodegradable growing pots, one expanding-soil disc, four bamboo plant markers, and one bonsai clipper.
The Dimux coffee mug warmer is a necessary addition to any tea- or coffee-lover’s workstation and keeps beverages at a constant temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also work with their favorite candle to gently release the scent without the need to actually light it.
A wireless Bluetooth karaoke microphone for entertaining
Bring musical fun to their lives with this Bonaok karaoke microphone. A great accessory for any event or just to liven up a dull day, this Bluetooth microphone works as a speaker, plus records and plays music for up to ten hours.
Help them unwind from a long day and mentally turn on their “do not disturb mood” with the Renpho eye massager. The built-in heating pads relieve eye strain and stimulate blood circulation via acupuncture points. It even features a Bluetooth music option so they can put on soothing music to further destress.
Give the gift of zen with this soothing 11-inch tall tabletop fountain. Water trickles from each tier to mimic the sounds of a small waterfall and they can light the candles for an extra calming touch.
These gorgeous geode bookends add a magical touch to home decor and come in a range of colors from teal to amethyst. You can also choose from various weights and they come with rubber bumpers to ensure bookcases and shelves don’t get scratched.
This whimsical tortilla blanket is both funny and functional. Many from a cozy flannel fabric, it comes in four sizes from 47 to 80 inches. And just in case they have a food obsession beyond burritos, you can also opt for pizza, waffle, or pie blanket options.
A fanny pack for hands-free organization on the go
For hikers and day-trippers, this handy fanny pack has plenty of zippered pockets to keep essentials like their phone, keys, and credit cards organized while on the go. Made from a durable and water-resistant nylon, it even features a spot to keep their water bottle and the waist strap tightens to ensure a good fit.
From a backyard hangout to a beach picnic, this inflatable lounger will come in handy as a comfy seating option. No pump is required, it comes in a handy carrying case, and it’s available in 16 different colors and patterns.
You may be seeing trendy moon lamps popping up, but you can make your gift even more unique by opting for this Saturn lamp. The dimmable LED lamp has seven different settings and you can even set it to change colors to a bright hue. Easy to move from room to room, it lasts for up to eight hours after each charge.
Whether it’s used to carry their groceries or random knickknacks, everyone needs a good reusable bag. We love the original Baggu. It can hold up to 50 pounds of stuff, but can also be folded down to fit in your pocket. It also comes in tons of fun colors and patterns.
If you ask us, there is truly nothing better than 365 days of dogs. The calendar comes from the same brains behind WeRateDogs’ popular Twitter account, and don’t worry, every dog receives a rating of at least 11/10.
This fun light projector brings the night sky inside and features 10 lighting colors, three brightness levels, and three speed settings. It also includes built-in speakers and works with smartphones via Bluetooth or USB to play music as the lights twinkle around you.
If your giftee already has a Kitchenaid stand mixer, get them this attachment that lets them easily make their own fresh noodles. Six different interchangeable discs mean they can switch between noodle types, including spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni, fusilli, and large or small macaroni.
For outdoor and camping enthusiasts, this 10,000mAh wireless power bank works as a standard charger, but can also run via solar power as a backup option when outlets aren’t available. Its compact size makes it easy to pack and it also comes with dual flashlights and a compass kit.
French pharmacies are known for their readily-available, high-quality skincare products. Gifting your buddy a ticket to Paris may be out of the budget, but you can still snag them some of these cult-favorite products, like this seriously hydrating face cream.
A little fan to deal with their unpredictable office temperatures
Office dwellers know how unpredictable temperatures can get. To save them when their office (or home office) transitions from an icebox to a desert, gift them this little portable fan. It’s small, mobile, and plugs into any USB for a quick, cold breeze.
Everyone deserves some relaxation, which is why this calming bath soak makes such a great gift. Inside there’s dehydrated coconut milk, vanilla, and Himalayan coconut CO2 extract, which together help soothe the skin and calm the mind.
One of our editors asserted that “candles are the most classic gift of all time.” We have to agree, and while there are many to choose from, we love the sentimentality and customization Homesick candles offers. They have candles made to smell like each of the 50 states, many cities, and even experiences like watching Friday night football or taking a road trip. No matter where they call home, one of these candles is sure to bring them a rush of nostalgia.
If they like their beverages ice-cold, they’ll appreciate this thoughtful bottle holder. It can hold 12 oz. cans, 16-ounce cans, or be used as a pint glass holding 16 fluid ounces, so it’s really a three-in-one gadget. When they need a break from beer, this is perfect for keeping their water bottles chilled too.
A creative journal that’ll help them get some sleep
A great night’s sleep is essential to our well-being, but getting those eight hours each night can be easier said than done. If you know any night owls who need to catch up on their sleep, this journal will make a great gift. It’s full of prompts, illustrations, and questions to put their minds at ease when they’re up in the wee hours of the night.
For the wine lover in your life, this bag does double duty as a cute outfit accessory and an insulated bag to easily bring along a bottle of wine to that house party, backyard barbeque, or picnic at the park. It comes in numerous pattern and color options, including nautical stripes, black tweed, beaded patterns, and more.
For the friend who likes to keep it really organized, help them stay on track with this thoughtful set of sticky notes. With categories like “To Ponder,” “To Remember,” and “To Buy,” they can keep track of everything they need to accomplish in the near future.
A breakfast station with everything they need to make the most important meal of the day
From pizza ovens to pizza apparel, there’s no shortage of gifts catered to pizza lovers out there. We’re partial to these socks for their packaging, which is made to look like an actual pizza in an actual pizza box.
Simple illustrated prints to hang around the house
Finding unique home decor that’s also affordable can be a tough feat, but these artistic prints check off all the boxes. The illustrations of plants make a great addition to their kitchen, or even their bedroom if they want to show off their green thumb.
Reusable lunch bags that they’ll actually want to use
Plastic bags are an unnecessary expense when you could just have reusable ones. Their environmentally-conscious and frugal sides will thank you for these sandwich and snack bags, which are dishwasher safe and BPA free. They’ll save a ton of money and plastic waste by using these, plus the colorful patterns are much more fun than clear plastic.
We’ve sung the praises of the Trtl Pillow before — it’s an essential for any traveler. The cozy and supportive neck pillow is a great gift for any frequent travelers or anyone who’s about to head out on a trip.
Entertainers and those with state pride will love this cutting board. You can find a board shaped like any of the 50 states or Puerto Rico, each laser engraved with important landmarks, cities, and sights. It’s a fun, personal gift that they’re sure to love.
Nowadays, most of our photos live on our smartphones and social media apps, but many of us still love getting to look through or hang up printed pictures. This portable printer lets them do that super easily and with no wires so they can print pictures in a snap.
This gift is a no-brainer for loyal Apple users. Instead of dealing with a tangle of chords from charging all of their products, they can streamline with this singular hub, which has a designated spot for their iPhone, Airpods, and Apple Watch.
Your giftee will be saying “aah” when they use this set of three calming bath salts during their next deep soak. All three blends are made with Dead Sea salt and enhanced with essential oils to hydrate skin, relieve stress, and relax the muscles.
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Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
Razors are an easy option for those who choose to remove their body hair.
With so many options out there, it can be tough to figure out which blade is best.
We tested a handful of the best razors for women, and these 9 reigned supreme.
When every razor in the aisle guarantees a nick-free close shave it’s hard to determine which one truly lives up to its promise. It can be easy to become overwhelmed by the repetitive products on shelves that lack quality and make grooming feel like a chore. There’s not one kind of woman and our razors should reflect that. When, where and how we groom should complement our schedules, target our problem areas, align with our values and fit our individual needs.
Dedicating my body to one razor a week, I tested each product glide by glide. I wanted to see how smooth my shins could get and if the razors were flexible enough to fit in the hollows of my underarms. Because bikini lines can be super sensitive and a bit tricky to properly care for, I committed to one set in particular. This way I could see its effectiveness over time and look out for irritation, razor bumps, or even worse, in-grown hairs. Below are razors, sets and brands that will not only get you excited about grooming again but are made with intention and designed with precision.
Read on for the best razors for women in 2021:
The best safety razor
If you’ve never tried a safety razor before, the Oui the People Tone It Around Set is a great place to start. It provides a sophisticated and luxurious alternative to plastic razors while also delivering a close shave. The Matte Gold Single Blade Steel Razor is weighted, so it cancels out the need to apply heavy pressure or repeat strokes that would usually cause irritation or razor burn. The set also contains a chemical exfoliant to help prevent ingrown hairs while also brightening the skin. As intimidating as safety razors can be, the single blade offers a close shave without tugging and pulling on the hair follicle that will make you want to ditch disposables for good.
Oui the People’s razors tend to sell out fast, so this particular set is on back order. But the razor on its own is in stock, and definitely worth it.
Safety Razor (small)
The best travel razor
When it comes to the Alleyoop All-In-One Portable Razor it’s almost impossible to think of what this 4-in-1 razor can’t do. It’s circular shape and hard shell fits in the glove compartment of your car, tucked away inside of a purse, or, more predictably, in a bathroom drawer. Tucked into this tiny case is a refillable spray bottle, a moisturizing body bar that doubles as a shave cream, and two triple-blade razor cartridges. All you’ve got to do is turn the dial on the side of the compact to access each. Compact in size and TSA-approved, this palm-sized razor is the handy travel razor you’ll want to reach for first.
All in One Portable Razor (small)
The best razor for your bikini line
Usually skeptical of using a razor to shave around my bikini line, I was pleasantly surprised by the Venus for Pubic Hair & Skin Collection. The flexibility of the razor allowed for a suitable fit in the nooks of my inner thighs, and the spacing of the blades made for a soft, easy glide. I followed up immediately after shaving with the Skin Smoothing Exfoliant. The lather was light and the grit was way more gentle than the exfoliating glove I would have otherwise opted for.
Along with the razor, exfoliant, and shaving gel, the collection also comes with the Daily Soothing Serum. When used daily, it maintains overall smoothness and hydration while reducing itch and irritation as well.
The process of dermaplaning normally consists of gently removing the tiny thin hair from your face by using a sharp blade. Aside from shaping up your brows or cleaning up above the lip, removing overall facial hair can benefit your skincare routine because it allows a clean and smoothly exfoliated surface for creams and serums to better absorb into. This is why the fine micro-guards on this blade is arguably the best feature of the razor. They help protect the skin from cuts or nicks.
Hydro Silk Touch-Up Multipurpose Exfoliating Facial Razor and Eyebrow Shaper (small)
The best razor for hard-to-reach areas
You’ll know exactly why The Flamingo Razor earned its name after the first glide. The ergonomic handle bends at the neck at a seemingly 90 degree angle which makes it compatible with every curve and crevice of the body. Over the knee, under the arm or in the pocket of your inner thigh, the flexible-hinge neck makes anywhere easy to reach.The rubbery exterior and ridged under belly of the handle feels secure even when slippery. The set contains a Foaming Shave Gel you can use sparingly and a Daily Moisturizing Lotion you’ll wish there was more of. With just two pumps everything below the knee was white, foamy and fully coated with enough leftover to store under my arms as well.
The five blade razor offers a tiny bit of resistance, but that’s to be expected when using Flamingo’s custom cut Gothic Arch shaped blades. With a blade crafted to have super sharp edges and a strong base, you’ll want to pace your shave with precision. Because the razor, gel and lotion work together to leave skin incredibly hydrated and shockingly smooth, the wall mounted suction hook and extra 5 blade razor will feel like bonus gifts in this set.
Shave Set (small)
The best sustainable razor
Although it’s not the only cruelty-free razor on this list, The Detox Market redefines the true meaning of green beauty. The Well Kept Safety Razor has a plastic-free brass handle made to last a lifetime with stainless steel, recyclable blades. (The packaging it arrives in is recyclable, too.) Like most safety razors, it comes with a bit of a learning curve, but the weight does most of the work for you. With step-by-step instructions on how to use the razor, replace the blades, and how to dispose at the end of its life, The Detox Market reinforces that sustainability is a journey that we as a community all play a role in. This planet-friendly razor is costly upfront, but when a shave feels more like a wax and is boxed with care, it’s worth the extra penny.
Safety Razor (small)
The best razor for sensitive skin
When it comes to the Billie Razor, this company’s mission to design for womankind means much more than a close shave. After realizing that women are tasked with overpaying for razors and pressured to remove body hair, they ditched the Pink Tax and displayed body hair positivity. Although Billie donates 1% of their revenue to important causes around the world and are currently partnering with Every Mother Counts, YWCA and Black Girls Code, their offered support starts in the shower.
The brand’s starter kit comes with a magic holder, two five-blade cartridges and a handle in five different flirty colorways to choose from. It’s guaranteed to be the prettiest bathroom essential mounted in your shower. The largeness of the razor head covers more skin in half the passes while the blade itself provides a seamless shave. The Billie razor offers consistently effective results and requires minimal effort from the shaver. It does all the work, so women don’t have to.
The Starter Kit (small)
The best subscription razor
Once selecting your handle color and choosing a plan that best fits your shaving schedule The Athena Club Razor Kit becomes more like a prescription and you’ve chosen the dosage. In a box that matches the color of your razor comes one ergonomic razor, one magnetic hook and a five blade cartridge with an extra one to hold you over until your next box arrives. Even when wet, the handle’s smooth, but rubbery feel is slip resistant and easy for gripping. You can thank the water-activated shea butter serum that borders the blade for the smooth and precise shave you won’t have to touch up the next day or two. With a razor you don’t have to press down hard to use and a subscription service that sends blade refills directly to your doorstep, you get the best results with half the effort.
Along with the joy of being one year older and wiser, you can maximize your birthday celebration with discounts and freebies from a huge selection of retailers and restaurants.
We scoured the internet to find out the best freebies and coupons you can get. For the majority of the retailers, you’ll need to sign up for rewards programs which means sharing your e-mail. In exchange, you’ll receive annual access to exclusive coupon codes, free snacks, and other goodies from retailers like Anthropologie, Chick-fil-A, and Ulta.
American Eagle: Level one rewards members get 15% off, level two get 20% off, and level three members get a 25% birthday coupon.
Famous Footwear: Get a $5 coupon when you’re signed up for the rewards program.
J.Crew: Get 20% off and free shipping as a Factory First member.
Kendra Scott: Get 50% off a piece of fashion jewelry or 25% off fine jewelry.
Madewell: Get a $25 birthday coupon as a Madewell Insider.
Petco: Get a free treat for your pet’s birthday when you’re a Pals Rewards Member.
Old Navy: Get 20% off when you join the birthday club.
Uniqlo: Get a birthday coupon when you register on the Uniqlo app.
Victoria’s Secret: Get a birthday $10 discount as a Victoria’s Secret credit cardholder.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to sign up for rewards programs to get freebies?
Most birthday freebies and discounts require you to be a part of the retailer’s rewards program to get a coupon sent to your email. Plus, signing up for rewards programs means you’ll get access to other exclusive discounts and promotions from the store.
How far in advance do I need to sign up for rewards programs to get my birthday freebie?
Signing up at least one month or earlier before the big day is recommended. This should be plenty of time to make sure your birthday treat gets to your inbox on your birthday or during your birth month.
For what it’s worth, we found that signing up too close to your birthday didn’t allow us to get some of our benefits.
Are freebies only available on the day of my birthday?
If you sign up for rewards or loyalty programs ahead of time, your birthday discount or freebie should land in your inbox at the beginning of your birth month and last until the end of the month. However, some freebies such as Starbucks only offer a free birthday drink on your actual birthday.
There are countless gifts for women to sift through, but we’re here to help you choose the perfect ones for every woman on your list. Though you can never go wrong with flowers and a thoughtful card, we’ve also included some more unique gift ideas, like a custom map poster and a painting kit.
For a twist on the traditional bouquet of flowers, give her this flower kit to nourish within the confines of her own home. She’ll appreciate the personal touch of choosing her birth month flower, whether it be a sunflower, daisy, or marigold.
Take her all around the world with this set of truffles. Each flavor is inspired by global flavors, with ones like Dulce de Leche, Balsamico, and Sveta Sofia. It doesn’t get any better than a box of chocolates when it comes to gifts for the women in your life.
For the one who doubles as a yogi, this mat has just the right amount of padding, is made of eco-friendly materials, and has a no-slip grip texture. It’s a top pick, even earning a spot as the best overall in our guide to the best yoga mats.
You can’t go wrong with a coffee table book gift for her, and this one is a true standout. The photography is sure to be top-notch, since National Geographic created this book. There’s no reason to not pass along this book of powerful women to your mom, sister, or friend.
To the average eye, this necklace just looks like a cool piece of jewelry, but it actually represents her zodiac sign. It’s a fun way to gift her some jewelry with a special meaning, but subtle enough to make its way into her everyday wear.
There’s nothing better than a wallet that can fit just about all of your essentials, from cash and coins to cards and even your passport. This wallet ticks off all of these boxes, and in a soft saffiano leather. You can learn more about this wallet, in our guide to the best women’s wallets.
Gifting a full experience to the women in your life is perhaps one of the best ways to spend time with them. Led by expert chefs, these virtual cooking classes will have her running around the kitchen and having fun all at once. The lessons last for 90 to 120 minutes and cover tons of dishes and beverages.
A desk calendar can add a decorative touch to her desk, but one that displays photos of her and her loved ones makes for an even better gift. She’ll love glancing at her calendar and being reminded of her favorite memories.
Painting isn’t only for those who do art on the regular. This kit is a straightforward gift for any woman, regardless of experience level. Creating her work of art will take between three and five hours, but she’ll end up with a frame-worthy masterpiece.
The tech guru in your life will enjoy having a sophisticated home for her AirPods. You can customize everything from the font, text, and font size to the font color, text position, and greeting card. There’s an array of neutral colors for the AirPods and AirPods Pro, and in either pebbled leather or saffiano leather.
For the one who loves to organize her thoughts and jot down to-do lists, a monogrammed leather journal is the perfect gift for her. And this one is sure to last, since she can order as many paper refills as she needs.
After a long day, all she wants is some true relaxation to melt away the tension that’s built up. While she can’t get a real massage every day, you can give her this at-home shiatsu massager, which can give her a quality massage for much less.
They may just seem like a basic, everyday accessory, but socks are among the most underrated gifts you can give. Bombas spent two years perfecting its gym socks, and we think they got it right. With thoughtful innovations, like a blister tab and cushioned footbeds, her feet will notice the difference as soon as she slips them on.
Spicy and sweet: Is there a better combo than this? This handmade sauce packs the heat of habanero peppers with a hint of fruity mango, adding an element to dishes that Etsy reviewers call “so full of flavor, there is no comparison.”
This bracelet’s simple beaded design is available in four different sizes to add a subtle, yet fun accent to nearly any look. If they’re looking for something a bit more personalized, BaubleBar’s Pisa Bracelet is also available with letter charms, hearts, birthstones, and more.
Sugarwish takes the guesswork out of gifting as you’re able to entirely customize the kinds of candies, cookies, or popcorn added to the gift, and the recipient chooses their favorites. They’ll receive an email or text message prompting them to pick out their Sugarwish contents immediately following the purchase, and you can add a custom message to further personalize this sweet treat.
Whether she wants to hydrate or purify her skin, this set can help address all of those concerns while she catches up on Disney+. It features five of Peter Thomas Roth’s bestselling masks, all in cute mini sizes.
A year-long MasterClass membership to learn new things
MasterClass, unlike many competitors, follows a format that feels like a one-sided conversation with your favorite icons rather than a traditional academic setting. It’s interesting — and you can go as deep (into reading materials) or shallow (listening to their insight while running errands) as you like to. An Unlimited Membership will give them access to all the site’s classes for the year.
Sfoglini’s organic, Brooklyn-made pastas are an exciting addition to her pantry. Choose from either a 3- or 6-month subscription — each month she’ll get two 16-ounce boxes of pasta (one signature option and one seasonal option) along with recipes and pairing ideas. In the past, seasonal pastas have included locally-sourced ingredients like ramp, fennel, and chili pepper, so you can be sure she’ll be surprised with something unique.
We love how soft, cozy, and affordable Everlane’s cashmere sweaters are. This fitted tee is a great way to add some cashmere into her spring wardrobe — it’s lightweight, comfortable, and an elevated take on a classic T-shirt.
You can never have too many reusable bags, especially when they’re as cute as the ones Baggu makes. The Standard Baggu is designed to hold up to 50 pounds and folds into a flat 5-inch by 5-inch pouch for easy storage in her purse.
If they’re dreaming of warmer weather or love to plan ahead, espadrilles make a great gift. Soludos espadrilles are lightweight, easy to slip on, and come in tons of fun designs. This pair is embroidered with little swimmers for a summery feel, but if it’s not her style there are plenty more cute options to choose from.
Weighted blankets are filled with pounds of microbeads that provide constant pressure. The result is a hug-like sensation that soothes, relieves anxiety and stress, and makes going to bed super comfortable.
If she always craves cold brew, give her the tools to make it herself from the comfort of her own kitchen. This device is super easy to use and can make a cup that rivals the cold brew from the coffee shop since she can use her favorite grounds.
Sitting all day in uncomfortable chairs can really strain her back. Show her you care with a seat cushion to help alleviate some of the pain. Purple makes pillows in different shapes and sizes to target and support specific areas, but all are very supportive and comfortable.
Atlas Coffee Club is an affordable subscription service that’ll send her a new bag of globally-curated, single-origin coffee beans each month. Each shipment comes with brewing information, a postcard from the country of origin, tasting notes, and packaging inspired by the country of origin’s culture for an immersive and educational experience.
Brooklinen has a well-earned reputation as the internet’s favorite bedding startup. Its bedding is comfortable and luxurious, and any of the 14 colors and patterns can instantly elevate the look of her bedroom. If she’s not ready to revamp her whole bedding set, gift her a pair of pillowcases to start.
While charging pads are useful tech gifts, many are made with generic and unsightly plastic. Courant is changing that with the Catch:3. The wireless charging pad is made with sleek aluminum and pebbled leather that comes in appealing colors like Dusty Rose, and doubles as a catchall tray for all their knick-knacks.
Customize a little box for her full of cute trinkets and sweet messages. Pick the print of the box, what little gifts you’d like to put inside, then fill in your own message and pictures you want to be included. It’s a small but sweet gift that works for just about anything.
Candles make a great gift for just about any woman who loves to make their home smell good. Otherland combines gorgeous packaging with incredible scents for candles that will transport her with their whimsy. Choose from scents like Canopy, which blends fresh fig with herby ivy greens and mint, or Chandelier, which mixes light Champagne with saffron and musky leather.
Heat-damaged, color-treated, or just plain dry hair will love this deep conditioning mask. Rosehip and almond oils, B-vitamins, and algae extract will help refresh her strands with some much-needed moisture.
Let’s face it — no one has ever loved the gift of hand sanitizer. But it’s actually really practical! Touchland is a new startup that’s out to make attractive and efficacious hand sanitizers that they’ll want to use. The spray formula is moisturizing, doesn’t smell like alcohol or leave hands sticky, and comes in a sleek modern packaging they’ll be proud to show off.
While there’s no denying that flipping through real, paper pages is a great feeling, an ebook reader is a great option for travelers and commuters (when it’s time to do these things again). She can access her entire library of ebooks on this thing, which makes it easy to always dive into a new book. We’re partial to Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite with its glare-free display and waterproofing, which allows you to read literally anywhere.
This Fitbit is an all-in-one smartwatch and a fitness tracker with plenty of great features she’ll enjoy using. From 24/7 activity and sleep tracking to water resistance, call and text capabilities, and more, she can wear this everywhere she goes.
In a world where most of our pictures stay on our smartphones, having an instant camera makes snapping life’s everyday moments a little more exciting. Waiting for pictures to develop is always exciting, but what she’ll love even more is actually getting to hold onto them.
The Echo is the perfect addition to her nightstand or countertop. It uses Alexa to accomplish any number of tasks, from answering questions to reordering supplies on Amazon and comes in five colors that’ll complement her style.
This clean-beauty favorite delivers the glossy sheen of a lip gloss but with the nourishing ingredients of a lip balm. The non-sticky consistency is perfect for everyday wear and the pocket-sized tubes are easy to stash in a handbag.
Whether she has a host of Alexa-enabled devices or is new to smart home technology, she’ll love using the Echo Show. The latest version is sleeker and more compact than ever before, with a bright display which she can use to watch her favorite shows, video call her friends, keep an eye on her security cameras, and more.
The direct-to-consumer model has found its place in almost every industry, toothbrushes included. Goby is a startup making great electric toothbrushes at more reasonable prices than most by selling them straight to their customers. Plus, the bright colors will make brushing her teeth a little more fun.
Gifting candles is an art and Diptyque is one that works every time. She’ll swoon over the chic French aesthetic and the aromatic blend of rose petals and blackcurrant leaves. The brand is even mentioned in our guide to the best candle brands.
These silk scrunchies create less friction than cotton ones, which means less breakage and frizz for her strands. If she wouldn’t likely splurge on these for herself, she’ll appreciate receiving them as a gift.
A book club that will never cancel on her (unless she wants to skip a month)
A Book of the Month membership is the perfect gift to satisfy the bookworm on your list. This gift membership gets your bookworm their pick of the best new books for $12.50 to $15 a month depending on the length of subscription you choose to gift (three, six, or 12 months). They can also request extra books for an additional $9.99 each if they read more than one book a month. We included this membership in our roundup of the best book lover gifts, too.
A piece of cast iron cookware she’ll use to make all of her favorite dishes
Unlike most cooking tools, a cast iron pan actually gets better with time. This braiser from Le Creuset is loved by Insider Reviews editors, comes in a bunch of different colors, and is the perfect size for the kinds of one-pot, saucy pasta dishes we make all the time.
It’s wide enough and deep enough that she won’t have to worry about adding too much liquid and having the contents spill over the sides. It’s also great for cooking meats and veggies since there’s plenty of surface area, so everything has room to get nice and crispy.
Pearl earrings are a classic gift for women who love extra feminine touches in their jewelry. This pair blends the timeless style with a modern touch, with little pearls wrapped around a small, ear-hugging hoop that’s great for everyday wear and special occasions.
Popular shoe startup Allbirds is equal parts cool and comfortable. You can’t go wrong with any of its styles, but if she’s already got a pair of the original Wool Runners, try the Wool Runners Mizzle or Tree Runners, both styles that we love around here at Insider Reviews.
We’re huge fans of Dagne Dover’s thoughtfully designed bags. The Weston and Ryan bags are laptop bags with the brand’s signature sleek neoprene fabric and smart design that keeps everything she’ll need organized and easily accessible.
If she’s always trying to find new ways to prioritize health into her busy schedule, help her out with some Daily Harvest cups. You can prepay for nine cups, which she can redeem and pick out herself. She can choose from smoothies, oat bowls, soups, and other bowls of healthy food that are super easy to take on the go.
If she spends a lot of time in the kitchen, she’ll appreciate this high-quality olive oil. A drizzle of Alive from Brightland adds a vibrant, zesty flavor to any dish, plus the beautiful bottle will look great on display in her kitchen.
Outdoor Voices has made its name in the athleisure world for offering high-quality workout apparel that women feel great and look great in. This pair comes in six color options and has a unique color-blocked style, plus a snug compression fit that actually works to keep her comfortable through a long workout.
Just because she’s not a kid anymore doesn’t mean she’s too old for a bubble bath. This foaming bubble bath is the upgraded adult version, with the calming properties of lavender sure to soothe her body and mind.
This set of loose-leaf teas made it into Oprah’s Favorite Things back in 2018. It’s filled with three variations of chai that she’ll enjoy sipping. If she’s exclusively a tea drinker, check out our gift guide for tea lovers.
If she’s trying to live a more sustainable life, try this carry-on spinner from Paravel. The hard polycarbonate exterior, interior lining, aluminum handle, and zippers are all made with recycled materials, and the sleek detailing on the body is made with vegan leather. It’s a gorgeous and thoughtful gift that she’ll love using when it’s time to travel again.
Whether she loves to cook decadent meals, is adamant about meal prepping, or likes to make her time in the kitchen as efficient as possible, the Instant Pot can help her out. The kitchen gadget has 14 smart programs, like saute, simmer, and slow cook, that make cooking a breeze and can save her lots of time in the kitchen. This one’s even named the best overall in our guide to the best Instant Pot and electric pressure cookers.
Nostalgic gifts always make great ones. Pick any location you want, whether it’s a whole city or a very specific address, then customize the map with colors, labels, frames, your desired orientation, and more. It’s an undeniably cool gift and one that’s sure to make her sentimental.
Urbanite turned farmer’s wife with a Chinese and Jewish background, Molly Yeh has lots of unlikely stories and recipes to share. Her book delves into her life story between recipes which blend cooking techniques, ingredients, and dishes she’s picked up from all corners of her life. The result? Unusual and delicious creations, like Scallion Pancake Challah and Asian Scotch Eggs. It’s a great pick for adventurous cooks who can appreciate a good laugh along the way.
A Champagne flute that’ll keep her bubbles chilled
She enjoys her bubbles best when cold, so make sure they’re always just the way she likes them, with the inventive Corkcicle flute. The shatterproof stainless steel and triple insulation promise crisp champagne every time.
A jewelry holder is always a good gift idea for any woman who wants to organize their jewelry. This pretty little swan will look great on her nightstand or dresser. It’s a small, but beautiful piece of decor, and super practical in that it can hold rings, necklaces, and more.
With smartwatches and phones that act like appendages, it might seem like the classic analog watch is disposable. Yet, there’s something about the timeless style of an analog watch that no piece of modern tech can match. This watch is well made and dainty, with a small face that is prominent without being obtrusive, making it her next great accessory.
Real “Friends” fans have already seen every episode (more than once), but they probably haven’t read this book. Miller dives into “Friends,” analyzing the show’s history, ’90s history in general, and more to create a picture of how this show came to be the phenomenon that we’re still watching today.
Every woman needs a nice bag to hold her makeup and toiletries, whether for traveling or keeping on her dresser. This leather set comes with two sizes, one smaller and one larger, and can even be monogrammed if you want to make this gift for her even more special.
A really good mug she can take camping or into the office
With a vacuum-insulated interior and secure top, this mug works for just about any occasion. Whether she wants to tote her hot oatmeal to the office or enjoy some chili while camping, this is what she’ll want to use.
Haircare products that have her name written all over them
Ordinarily, it might seem strange to gift someone bottles of shampoo and conditioner, but not with Function of Beauty’s highly giftable products. They take her hair concerns into account when developing her personalized haircare system. She can also choose the color and fragrance of her formula, and even the labels on the bottles.
There are a lot of serums out there, making lofty claims about how much they’ll improve skin, but Maelove’s Glow Maker really lives up to the hype. If the fact that it was developed by MIT scientists is not enough, it also costs less than $30, and it really will get her skin glowing in no time.
A plush bathrobe will make every morning feel like a trip to the spa for her. Parachute’s soft Turkish cotton robe comes in four colors: white, mineral, blush, and stone. This fluffy gift for the woman in your life will become her go-to pick.
Maybe she’s trying to cut the cord with cable, or maybe she’s just sick of watching Netflix solely on her laptop. Whatever it is, a Roku Ultra is an easy-to-use device that gives her access to plenty of awesome content to stream.
She loves having her tea every morning, but there’s no way for her to brew the loose-leaf in an insulated mug. That’s exactly what the T2 does. All she has to do is fill with water, load up the infuser with her favorite tea, and let it brew. Plus, the T2 keeps tea warm for up to six hours, so she can enjoy it throughout the day.
There’s a lot of hype around Patagonia apparel, but we think it’s warranted. This sweater embodies the Patagonia ethos of great fitting, high-quality, performance apparel with its super-soft, warm cotton and a quilted exterior that looks nice too.
Okay, so not all the shopping, but Rent The Runway is a great choice for shoppers who constantly want to update their wardrobe without spending major bucks. Rent the Runway has great luxury brands for her to choose from, with everything from casual weekend wares to special occasion outfits.
Delight her with a gift box of handcrafted cheeses from Vermont. There’s some English-style cheddar, a cave-aged semi-firm cheese, a mild and salty blue, and a bright rind cheese, so she can stick to what she knows or try something new. Let’s face it, it’s all delicious.
A set of dark towels that won’t show her makeup stains
Give the experienced or aspiring green thumb this countertop herb garden — it’ll add some much-needed color and delicious herbs to their space. The device is effortless to use, so even amateur gardeners won’t mess it up.
We’ve all been there – holidays and birthdays are just around the corner, your schedule starts getting more chaotic, and you still haven’t picked out a gift!
Whether it just slipped your mind to prepare ahead of time or you decided to give a gift impromptu, we’ve got you covered. This list proves last-minute gift ideas can still be thoughtful and unique, from clever subscriptions to useful gift cards and everything in between.
Has a certain TV show become their quarantine guilty pleasure? Request a Cameo from their favorite TV star, film actor, or comedian. Cameo offers over 40,000 celebrities and entertainment personalities to choose from, with plenty of options under $150, and select talent can fulfill requests within 24 hours. Just include some details, and they’ll create a personalized video message.
Give them the gift of better oral hygiene with a Quip toothbrush, which pairs with an electric toothbrush, bundle, starter kit, or accessory, so they’ll always be brushing with the most thorough and efficient brush tools.
Grant them full access to the ultimate jewelry collection, featuring top designer brands like Kendra Scott, Kate Spade, Gorjana, and more. Every month, Rocksbox will send three pieces of jewelry chosen by a personal stylist, with free shipping both ways. Get them started by choosing from three different membership packages: 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months.
Jumpstart their self-care routine with one of these monthly face mask boxes. These subscription sets feature carefully curated Korean sheet masks that are suitable for all skin types. The FaceTory Team selects rising, trending, and beloved K-beauty products that can’t be found anywhere else. They also add a guide with tips, directions, and benefits for each mask.
Do you know someone with a baby on the way? Gift them a monthly supply of Honest’s premium diapers and wipes in a flexible bundle subscription. The bundle features three diaper types: everyday, training pants, and overnights, with custom sizes based on weight and age. If in between sizes, Honest recommends sizing up. Each pack includes over 100 diapers each. Plus, they can personalize the diapers with a number of cute design options.
Nothing beats holding a physical issue of their favorite magazine. A subscription service makes sure it lands in their hand without the extra trip to the store. Choose from magazines like Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, Women’s Health, and more, that cost just $5 for an entire year.
Even the most novice green thumb can build a thriving garden with The Sill. Each month, the houseplant subscription delivers an easy-care hand-potted plant in a sleek ceramic planter. It’s the perfect opportunity to cultivate their own at-home plant nursery.
Rent the Runway’s innovative model means they no longer have to waste money on clothes they’ll wear just once or twice. It’s perfect for the fashionista in your life and lets them rent something new for any occasion — whether it be WFH, date night, or staycations.
Send the best of Murray’s cheese and satiate their hankering for a good gouda or creamy brie with a Monthly Clubs subscription. Whether they’re a cheese aficionado or just looking for a yummy snack, they’ll enjoy getting fresh cheese delivered to their door along with detailed guides to the flavors and suggested beverage pairings for each.
Choose from options like Classic Cheese of the Month for newbies all the way up to Cheesemonger’s Picks of the Month. You can pay for a month-to-month subscription, or pre-pay for a three-month option.
A 12-pack of wine from an independent winemaker for under $100
Looking for a last-minute gift that’s perfect for just about anyone over 21? We recommend a few bottles from NakedWines.com. Every winemaker on the platform has been “funded” by “Angel” customers, meaning you feel like you have a more direct stake in the wine you gift — and they’re all affordable and high-quality.
For a limited time, you can get an assortment of wines for even cheaper. New customers who sign up using their email get $100 off their first box of 12 wines. Insider Reviews senior reporter Mara Leighton tried the service and found it to be a great value. Read the full review here.
Send beautiful bouquets on a regular basis at the rate of your choosing — weekly, every two weeks, monthly, or every two months. Choose from a variety of floral themes, from farmers’ market fresh blooms to gorgeous rose arrangements. This new twist on a classic gift is one that’ll keep on giving.
Gifting just got a little bit sweeter. You choose the number of treats, and Sugarwish takes care of the rest. The recipient chooses which treats they want to receive once they redeem the gift, so it’s the perfect last-minute item for a picky eater.
This past year has been full of anxiety and uncertainty, which makes a gift that includes soothing meditation options extra thoughtful. They can listen to narrated meditations with a Buddhist monk, get tips for handling stress from videos with cute graphics, or leverage wind down guided exercises to enjoy better sleep.
For the uninitiated, MasterClass is an e-learning platform that provides an array of classes taught by well-known celebrities and industry leaders. Users can find everything from television writing classes taught by Shonda Rhimes to a style lesson with Tan France.
The gift of Amazon Prime is always one that’ll be met with extreme appreciation given that it is both practical and thoughtful. If the recipient already has a membership, the money will convert into a gift card that they can use on anything they want from the site.
An e-gift card to Everlane for anyone who appreciates the basics
Everlane is our go-to for all things considered “closet staples” — from cozy cashmere to classic button-downs, comfortable cotton tees to casual denim. We can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t be able to put an Everlane e-gift card to use, especially when they can start shopping as soon as they open the e-gift card confirmation email.
Hulu, like Netflix, is a must-have for TV fiends. Whether or not they already have a membership (which you may or may not mooch off of), this gift card can be used to sign up or pay for their next few months with the service.
An Amazon Kindle for book lovers who travel frequently
Kindles make the perfect last-minute gift for voracious readers. Even if the recipient swears by the feeling of a real book in their hands, once they see how much easier it is to travel with one thin tablet instead of six thick novels, they’ll be grateful you introduced them. The Paperwhite has a backlit screen with zero glare, so they can read it as easily outside as in bed with the lights out. Another plus? It’s waterproof.
If the Kindle just isn’t their thing, the Book of the Month Club might be a perfect alternative. The subscription service narrows a selection of new releases down to five options, and the recipient will be able to choose which hardcover book they’d like to receive each month. If they don’t like any of that month’s selections, they can also opt to skip and wait until next month’s choices come out.
A gift card to their favorite music streaming service
Sometimes the simple, practical route is the way to go when it comes to last-minute gifting. If they’re one for spontaneous at-home dance parties or often found screaming their favorite songs in the car, a free month of their go-to music streaming service can prove to be just as thoughtful as a gift that’s purchased weeks in advance.
If they never quite outgrew this favorite childhood snack (or if they’re just one for sentimentalism), this box full of Oreos, Golden Oreos, Chips Ahoy, and Nutter Butter cookies will have them feeling like they’re back in the good old days in no time. Prime members can receive one-day shipping on this item depending on what time of day they place their order, so if their big day is tomorrow, we’ve got you covered.
You may not be able to make them breakfast in bed, but you can still ensure they have a sweet morning with this donut and cake pop bouquet delivery. All of the mini treats are dipped in either dark or white chocolate and topped with chocolate drizzle and candy toppings. Best of all for last-minute shoppers, express shipping can be applied to this gift.
An e-gift card to Warby Parker for the daily glasses-wearer
Glasses have become a means of helping people to express their individual sense of style, a trend only bolstered by stylish online glasses retailers. Warby Parker has managed to make prescription glasses affordable (a baseline pair starts at just $95, including lenses), but even if your giftee doesn’t wear prescription glasses, the company also makes non-prescription sunglasses that are equally as good-looking. Digital gift cards are delivered to your recipient’s email immediately.
A wine subscription for new bottles delivered right to their door
Winc is a wine delivery subscription that brings the good stuff right to your recipient’s door. Users take a quiz and share information about their taste preferences before receiving expert recommendations about bottles they may like. They can choose what to include in their box, and since each bottle is priced individually, they can control the cost of each delivery. Gift cards can be emailed to the recipient and used toward the cost of a box (or a few, if you’re feeling extra generous).
A BarkBox subscription for anyone who’s just a little too obsessed with their dog
Whether they just got a new puppy or they’ve had one for a while now, you can’t go wrong with a BarkBox subscription for any dog parent. To give it as a gift, simply input the name of their pup and its relative size (small, medium, or large), and select a one-, three-, six-, or 12-month increment. You can send the box directly to their house or purchase a digital gift card, which can be redeemed immediately.
A coffee subscription to help them stay caffeinated
Atlas makes some of our favorite coffee out there, and it fresh roasts each batch before sending it out so you know the coffee you’ll get hasn’t been sitting on a shelf for six months. Any caffeine fiend will love receiving beans or grounds direct to their door each month, giving you extra brownie points each time.
Everyone appreciates having a beautiful frame for their photos, posters, or artwork — but no one actually likes paying for it themselves. They’ll enjoy the chance to custom frame something for her home with Framebridge. Bonus points if you also print and send cute family photos for her to frame.
A fun and convenient way to freshen up their wardrobe
It’s natural to settle into a dressing routine, but if you sense that they’re no longer excited by their closet, a Stitch Fix gift card is the perfect solution. Recipients can try out different brands and styles that they wouldn’t ordinarily buy, and it’s easy to return pieces with the provided prepaid shipping labels.
A travel-planning service that does all the work for them
For the person who is currently dreaming about where to go post-pandemic, this gift card will help ensure their next trip is stellar. Airbnb has thousands of listings for private home vacation rentals around the globe and across the US. They can choose from premium Luxe listings like a villa in Malibu, find a location close to a national park for outdoor exploration, or opt for a unique getaway like a tree house rental.
Ordering a piece of luggage that best suits them will take too long if you’re strapped for time, plus you might not know exactly what they like. You’re better off giving a gift card so they can choose from plenty of fun options. From confetti to marble patterns, CALPAK offers suitcase designs for every traveler.
If you have at least one days’ worth of foresight, the new Echo Dot is a great last-minute gift that won’t require much effort. Whether you know for a fact that they have just started outfitting their home with smart capabilities, or you at least have a suspicion that they’d enjoy the convenience of having Alexa around to answer questions and play games, the Dot is a great pick.
A Birchbox subscription for beauty and skincare lovers
There’s a reason Birchbox is so popular — it’s a super affordable way to find and learn about new beauty, skincare, and grooming products without the risk of spending too much on full-sized options the recipient might not like. For $30-$45, you’ll be able to gift three months’ worth of boxes right to their door. For a more substantial option, you can gift six months for $84, or 12 months for $156.
Blue Apron’s meal kits are the perfect last-minute gift for anyone who enjoys cooking but lacks the time or foresight to do the planning and prepping involved. It costs $47.95 for two servings of two recipes each week, so they’ll save time shopping and prepping meals, which is arguably worth more than the price of the subscription.
You know the type — always orders a charcuterie board, could survive on prosciutto, prefers savory over sweet. Spoil your giftee with a salami delivery, and hope they invite you over for a dinner party soon when we can all get together again.
They’ll get fired up for this quarterly delivery of small-batch hot sauce, which is curated by Fuego Box and filled with gourmet picks from all over the country. Each box contains three five-ounce bottles.
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Conditioners keep hair healthy, shiny, and strong.
A conditioner helps by moisturizing with oils and butters, and by strengthening with proteins.
We found 16 of the best conditioners, based on hair type and hair needs.
Whether your hair is wavy, coily, curly, straight, or somewhere in between, it’s all made of one thing: dead protein cells. Because hair has a tendency to dry and break, most hair types need conditioner to stay healthy. Conditioner is a crucial step in your hair care routine if you want hair that’s moisturized and strong.
“The job of a conditioner is to strengthen the hair-so there’s going to be some element of protein-and then to moisturize, to replenish moisture into the strands and soften the hair,” certified trichologist Dr. Kari Williams tells INSIDER.
When searching for the best conditioner, it’s important to consider how much moisture your hair needs. This depends on your hair type, curl pattern, and texture, which determines how prone to breakage your hair actually is.
It’s also important to think about how much strength you need and whether your hair is protein sensitive. Watch this to learn more about protein sensitivity and protein overload.
We picked the 16 best conditioners, organized by hair type:
Here is a rich mix of hydrating ingredients like argan oil, honey, and aloe juice, which each have restorative benefits to hair. Unlike any other option on this list, Garnier’s conditioner uses royal jelly, a nutrient rich ingredient produced by honeybees. If your hair feels dry, frizzy, or dull, Garnier’s Whole Blends Honey Treasures Repairing Conditioner has the power to leave your hair smelling sweet, looking shiny, and feeling soft.
Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Conditioner
Moisture Repair Conditioner (small)
This conditioner focuses on moisturizing and strengthening your hair with keratin, the protein hair is naturally made of. Moroccanoil Moisture Repair uses castor oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil—all known to majorly hydrate skin and hair. Customers who swear by this say they trust this conditioner to leave them with healthy, frizz-free, and silky hair.
Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Conditioner
Gold Lust Repair & Restore Conditioner (small)
Oribe’s luxurious, hydrating conditioner is known for making hair softer without having an overpowering fragrance. It uses common ingredients like shea butter and olive oil, as well as some unique additions like it’s Mediterranean Cypress extract and Oribe Bio-Restorative Complex—which includes biotin, plant collagen, caffeine, and niacinamide. Especially if you have color treated or heat damaged hair, this conditioner will help detangling and creating a silky smooth finish.
Best conditioners for wavy hair
Not Your Mother’s Naturals Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Curl Defining Conditioner
Lightweight, creamy, and crafted with mango butter and gardenia extract,Not Your Mother’s Curl Defining Conditioners has a sweet and fruity smell. The formula is infused with the right amount of oils to help detangle waves and curls while also leaving them soft and shinier. Fans say this product also gives their hair definition.
Aveda Be Curly Conditioner
Be Curly Conditioner (small)
Wavy and curly-headed folks love this product because it helps detangle, which can be a nightmare without the right product. Known as an environmentally friendly brand, Aveda’s be curly™ conditioner is a lightweight mix of botanicals like aloe and sunflower oil as well as wheat protein. The formula also includes wheat protein to strengthen hair strands.
Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water Conditioner
Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water Conditioner (small)
Specifically made for easily weighed down, fine, and low porosity hair, Maui Moisture’s Lightweight Conditioner uses watery moisturizers, like aloe juice, coconut water, and hibiscus water. Plus, lots of customers said they got comments on how good their hair smelled after using this.
SheaMoisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Shine Conditioner
Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Shine Conditioner (small)
SheaMoisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Shine Conditioner is a curly classic that beautifully defines curls and helps detangle without weighing them down. One reviewer says that while other products leave her hair gummy or waxy, this one washes out smooth and clean. With coconut oil, shea butter, and mango seed butter, the conditioner also leaves hair smelling like fresh fruit.
Pattern Beauty Medium Conditioner
Medium Conditioner (small)
Tracee Ellis Ross launched her own natural hair brand in the fall of 2019, and it’s made great im pressions since. The Medium Conditioner is her award-winning product that mixes jojoba seed oil, castor oil, avocado oil, and honey to give curls moisture and definition. Formulated to not be too light or too heavy, it’s best for low to normal porosity curls. Pattern offers a lightweight conditioner and a heavier formula for more specific needs, too.
This is the only conditioner on the list that uses a mix of quinoa and tomato fruit ferment extract, which are supposed to promote curl definition. As a clean beauty brand, Briogeo coined the term 6-free, which means their products are free of common ingredients and chemicals like parabens, harsh sulfates, and silicones.
Nexxus Curl Define Conditioner for Curly & Coily Hair
If you have curly hair and had to learn how to take care of it over time, you’ve probably used Cantu products before. As the formulas continue to improve over the years, Cantu’s Shea Butter Hydrating Cream Conditioner remains a top budget option. It uses shea butter to ease detangle and moisturize, all while leaving the signature, tropical, and fruity Cantu smell.
Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Rinse Out Conditioner
Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Rinse Out Conditioner (small, Preferred: Walgreens)
When it comes to moisturizing your hair, the Jamaican Black Castor Oil conditioner doesn’t play games. This bestseller is packed with proteins and several different butters and oils, including shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil which mimics properties of sebum. Since it’s infused with peppermint, it also gives a soothing sensation.
Pattern Beauty Intensive Conditioner
Intensive Conditioner (small)
Pattern customers say this conditioner helps detangle their coils before leaving them looking luscious. This heavyweight conditioner from Tracee Ellis Ross’s hair care line is specifically formulated for tighter curl patterns and low porosity hair by using a thick mix of avocado oil, shea butter, beeswax, and safflower oil.
CURLS Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Mask
Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Mask (small)
Other conditioners on this list may smell fruity, but CURLS uses actual blueberry extract for its reparative conditioner. Proanthocyanidins from blueberries stimulate hair growth and help prevent breakage, which is why the brand sticks to this as its hero ingredient in most other CURLS products. But a blueberry can’t do everything your hair needs alone, so this product also includes soybean oil and soy protein.
The elements of a good present – being thoughtful, useful, or novel – aren’t restricted to a big budget. But the best gifts under $25 are usually hidden in a minefield of totally expendable knickknacks.
As a team of product journalists and reviewers, we’ve put together a list of the best affordable gifts we know of, based on gifts we’ve received, gifts we’ve given, and others we’ve found along the way. They’re all things we have or would gladly buy and use in our daily lives.
Check out all 60+ gifts under $25:
A compact, waterproof blanket for outdoor activities
They’ll appreciate this outdoor blanket for all of their get-togethers outside. It folds up easily and can even fit into their pocket. It’s also waterproof, puncture-resistant, and sand-proof, so they can use this gift to level up their beach days, camping adventures, hikes, and picnics in the park.
Whether you’re shopping for someone who loves bucket hats or someone who has yet to try one, this accessory is a great gift for the summer. They’ll get much needed protection from the sun, plus they’ll look stylish wherever they go.
Tie-dye clothing continues to stick around, but they don’t have to spend a fortune on a tie-dye sweatshirt to join in on the trend. This easy kit gives them the gift of a fun passion project or a hands-on activity with friends. It comes with five colors of dye, gloves, and rubber bands.
Gifting beauty products like moisturizers and foundations can be challenging because everyone has specific skin types and shades. However, face mists are your best bet if they’re obsessed with skincare and need something refreshing for the summer. We can’t get enough of Mario Badescu, and its mists are no exception. You can learn more about Mario Badescu sprays in our guide to the best face mists.
A personalized video message from their favorite celebrity
When trying to think of a unique gift, one that might not immediately come to mind is Cameo. The online service has tons of famous actors, musicians, athletes, and creators they might want a personalized video message from. Whether it’s for their birthday or the holidays, there’s something for everyone on Cameo, with prices starting at $1. You can get the likes of “Ugly Betty” actor Chris Gorham or internet dog sensation Puggy Smalls, each for $25 or less.
You’ll never forget to stay hydrated with this 24-ounce marked water bottle. It has an easy-to-carry plastic lid and removable silicone mouthpiece that makes it just as easy to clean as it is to drink from.
Whether it’s your remote controls, books, or reading glasses, your bedside or couch essentials will fit perfectly in this convenient felt pouch. It slides between your mattress or under your couch cushion without looking like an eyesore.
The self-confessional book you can burn after writing
This bestseller went viral across TikTok because of its unique approach to self-reflection. With inquisitive prompts, the notebook works as a giant confessional you can quite literally burn after writing.
This card game is unlike any you’ve played before. Its three carefully crafted levels of questions spark connections and stimulate reflective conversations. You’ll leave the game making friends out of strangers or diving deeper into your friendships.
This Saturn-shaped moon lamp gives off a soothing ambient glow to brighten up their room. Whether they use it as a subtle night light or as a room accessory, they’ll have fun matching the lamp to their mood with its 16 color options.
Food52’s reusable straw sets come in a pretty color palette, and each pack includes carrying cases and cleaning squeegees. They can toss one set in their bag, leave one at work, and keep one in the car.
A cult-favorite clay mask that basically vacuums out pores
Bombas is one gift we find ourselves giving friends and family every year. They’re the best socks we’ve ever tried, and they’re a little more expensive than someone is likely to spend on socks for themselves, making them a great gift.
This cold brew maker is as inexpensive as it is convenient, and it can save hundreds of dollars per year on iced coffee. It easily fits into most refrigerator doors, is simple to use, and makes a good amount of cold brew at once. If they need more than one quart, there’s also a two-quart option. We even named it best budget option in our guide to the best cold-brew coffee makers.
The towels are made from a proprietary fabric called Aquitex that’s composed of ultra-fine fibers (finer than silk) that work to reduce the amount of friction that hair experiences while in its weakest state. Plus, it speeds up drying time by as much as 50%.
Flamingo is the women’s brand of Harry’s, and it’s got the same M.O.: to make better hair removal products for a reasonable amount of money, and to present them in a way that makes them feel special. Its Shave Set comes in a recyclable pouch with a razor and two blade cartridges, daily moisturizer, luxe foaming shave gel, and a shower hook.
A small but convenient gift, smart wifi plugs let the owner turn their electronics on or off from anywhere with their smartphone thanks to the Kasa app. If they have a smart home gadget, they can use the voice assistant to turn things on and off as well. In the Kasa app, they can also set schedules and “scenes” for controlling many devices with one button.
This tiny waffle maker is perfect for single-serving breakfasts, or for meal prep (just freeze your waffles ahead of time). It’s compact for confined spaces, heats up in a few minutes, and has a non-stick surface that’s easy to clean.
Perfect for the outdoorsy types, an REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. Find out more here.
Silk is often used in products like headbands and pillowcases to reduce friction and breakage of hair, and these hair ties serve the same purpose. Designed to keep hair from catching, crimping, and pulling, these hair scrunchies are gentle on strands and around the wrist.
This Jason Markk spray repels water and oil to keep your shoes free of stains and water spots. It’s water-based, so it’s okay to use on a variety of materials — from suede to nubuck leather to canvas and others. It sprays a fine mist that covers large areas both quickly and evenly.
MeUndies makes some of the most comfortable underwear and loungewear for men and women that we’ve found at Insider Reviews. And, beyond that, we love their festive patterns. Because they’re pricier than most people are willing to pay for their own underwear, these make a great and surprisingly luxurious gift. We share our love for MeUndies underwear in our guide to the best places to shop for men’s underwear.
Incase probably already makes your laptop case, and their phone cases are great for many of the same reasons. They’re lightweight, add another layer of protection, and allow for some fun personalization.
Enjoy unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of books, audiobooks, and magazines for less than $10 a month with Scribd. (Or $13 per month for access to Scribd and the New York Times). If they aren’t a bibliophile already, Scribd will make them one.
Switch it up for the cook in your life with this tasty herb mix. The classic blend of thyme, basil, savory, fennel and lavender hails from the South of France, and Williams Sonoma recommends using it to accent poultry, meat, sauces, and soups.
Chip-resistant, vegan nail polish that comes in over 50 colors
Smith & Cult’s rich, chip-resistant nail polish comes in 52 colors and is the kind of beautiful bottle you leave out on the vanity because it’s just that nice to look at. The formulas are vegan, cruelty-free, and don’t have potentially harmful ingredients like formaldehyde or camphor, among others. It’s easy to see why we included Smith & Cult in our guide to the best nail polish brands.
Charitable lottery tickets that donate money to a deserving organization
When you scratch off a card from LottoLove, you won’t win any money. Instead, you “win” a charitable prize that’s donated to someone in need. There are four possible prizes, which help provide clean water, solar light, nutritious meals, or literacy tools. To date, LottoLove and its charitable partners have impacted lives in over 60 countries.
Did anyone — anyone at all — say cocktails? Monin’s coffee collection has everything needed for café-inspired drinks, be they cocktails, lattes, coffees, or teas. It includes five syrups ranging in flavors from amaretto to Irish cream. Plus, Monin has a recycling initiative that works to improve the health of bee populations.
A smart chip that helps you find items you’ve lost
How nice would it be if every time you lost something, you could find it within a few minutes? Use your smartphone to make the Tile Mate ring aloud, and you’ll be able to locate your keys or wallet using the sound.
A travel-size duo of two cult-favorite NARS products
NARS’ velvet matte lipstick pencils are travel-sized so your giftee can bring them on trips or easily throw them into purses and pockets for on-the-go use. The formula is non-drying and long-lasting, and they can be used to line, define, and fill in lips with colors that range from subtle to rich.
A popular lip mask that creates a protective seal to lock in moisture overnight
Laneige’s hyper-successful Lip Sleeping Mask uses a combination of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, minerals, antioxidants, and fruit extracts to form a protective layer over the lips to lock in moisture overnight. It has over 13,000 ratings on Sephora, and an average rating of 4.4-stars out of five.
If you’re going to buy an armband for a runner, you’re probably going to wind up buying this version from Tribe. It has over 40,000 reviews on Amazon (with a 4.4-star rating overall) and, while it’s not the most perfect out there, it’s frequently recommended for its water-resistant and no-slip design.
Knee-high socks from one of the best loungewear companies online
Tommy John is another company responsible for some of the very best loungewear and underwear on the internet. Their knee-length socks have light compression to support blood flow, and the “comfort cuff” design means you should be able to peel them off without finding marks left over.
Whether they use it as a desk accessory or to prop up their YouTube search for “how to chop onions” while they cook at home, a lightweight, adjustable phone stand comes in handy more often than you’d expect.
Herbivore Botanical’s bath salts include nutrient-rich Pacific sea salts combined with ylang-ylang and vanilla essential oil. They’ll moisturize the skin and provide a deeply relaxing, calming effect on the brain to decrease anxiety and restlessness.
Perfect for color-treated, heat-styled, and otherwise damaged hair, It’s a 10’s hair mask deep-conditions strands with a blend of moisturizing ingredients like oat kernel extract, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, and linseed extract. We tout it as the best overall pick in our guide to the best hair masks.
Once it’s safe to attend live events again, is there a good concert, play, or game you think they’d love? It doesn’t have to be expensive to be impactful. Grab tickets and make a night of it — or, if you live far away, make sure they get to go with a friend or two.